Instagram is currently the leading social media platform when it comes to social media marketing and with over 400 million users, it’s a great foundation to market your brand/business as the app is very user friendly and your potential customer can make instant purchases with a few taps. To begin, you will need to develop a following and implement an ongoing strategy to achieve any level of success. But have no fear, as we will walk you through the different ways you can build your brand’s presence and obtain more Instagram followers. Invite your friends and family After you’ve created your Instagram account, invite your friends and family members to follow you. This is a good first step to take as your friends and family would show their support by following, liking and commenting on your posts. This will look authentic to a new visitor who will identify that you have a following. Introduce Yourself As a new brand, it is important to introduce yourself and present the type of service you are providing. As there is a lot of competition on Instagram, it is important to differentiate yourself and illustrate what sets you apart from the rest. You will need to have a strategy in mind about the type of followers you would like to target and cater to their needs by posting unique images, videos and writing captions that will grab their attention and start engagement. Make sure you write a short and sweet informative bio on your profile and add a link to your website. Use hashtags Hashtags is a great way for people to find you and start conversations. But don’t get too carried away with inserting a high volume of hashtags on a single post as it could appear as spam and result to losing interest from a potential customer. Instagram has also recently added a new feature which allows users to follow popular hashtags. As such, by incorporating popular hashtags around your product and target audience’s interest, you will automatically appear in user feeds, increasing your reach. Interact with people It’s important to interact with people, by both acknowledging and responding to comments on your posts, as well as engaging with any potential relevant influencer accounts. Interaction can be anything from a follow, to a like and comment, though comments will be most appreciated and get you noticed. This will also help add a personality to your profile which people will warm to very quickly and become loyal to your brand. Collaborate with Influencers This is a very powerful method to promote your brand. There’s various ways in which you can collaborate with influencers, to drive a high volume of traffic to your profile and result in potential sales. But before you approach influencers, it is important to have a strategy in mind and ask yourself these questions – why are you approaching this influencer? Do they fit your brand guidelines? Will your target audience relate or build a connection with the influencer? What authority does the influencer carry? Also, some influencers would request for free products to showcase your brand so ensure that you have calculated production costs and decide if this method is worthwhile. Types of engagement To keep your followers engaged, you will need to come up with creative ways to build engagement other than posting an image or video. So why not entice your followers with a photo competition where they can post an image and tag your brand with a unique hashtag. This will also help generate user generated content, that you can repurpose. This method should increase engagement on your page and you can provide a special discount code for the best images, which will provide more of an incentive for more people to join in with the fun. Trial and error When it comes to posting images and videos, there is a trial and error process as you may not be receiving the engagement you had expected. But this doesn’t necessary mean that the image/video is not of good quality. There can be many factors to consider; hashtags, location tag, caption, time of posting etc. Research conducted by Kissmetrics suggests that the best time to post is 2am, 6am, 5pm and 10pm and the best day is Wednesday and Thursday. There is no right or wrong with this process, so the best thing is to experiment yourself by posting at different days/times and analyse the results to identify the engagement rate. Paid promotions Paid promotions are becoming a common feature on all social media platforms, so this can be a route to take in order to gain more exposure for your brand. The advantage of using paid promotions is that you can get your brand and content in front of a higher volume of your target audience. By selecting your target audience, you will give them the opportunity to engage with your brand. If they like your post, there’s a strong possibility that they will follow you as they have shown interest in your brand on their own accord. But Instagram’s paid promotions are based on CPM (cost per impression i.e. the number of people who see your post, regardless of whether they take an action or not) so make sure you define your target audience and budget accordingly. Instagram is becoming a very popular platform for brands and rightly so as it allows you to attract new customers and connect with enthusiasts who show high levels of engagement. Like anything in business, it takes time to build a foundation but once you have a following and the right core audience, you will begin to reap the benefits of an engaged audience. Thereon up, the key is regular content and staying socially active.
With Instagram being owned by Facebook, the continuous addition of new features and improvements comes as no surprise. As marketers and businesses, we’re given more flexibility and luxury to make the most of all the updates, with the latest being Instagram’s new polling feature. This latest update allows us to improve the user experience through an interactive poll sticker in Instagram stories. The poll gives you the opportunity to ask your friends and followers two-option questions, and view your results in real-time. Unlike Twitter polls, Instagram will reveal the participants and their chosen options. So as a business, how can you make the most of Instagram’s new polling feature? Well we have a few suggestions that may do the trick: Get instant feedback from customers The new polling feature will help businesses receive instant responses in real time which is fantastic as it will be quick, easy and less time consuming when gathering feedback and insights. Learn more about your audience Get to know your fanbase and use Instagram stories as a market research channel. Find out your followers’ likes, dislikes and product reviews to help guide your new product launches. Identify engaged viewers – and keep them loyal! Instagram reveals the identity of voters and shows you what they voted for in the poll. So why not take this opportunity to engage, acknowledge and interact with your viewers and maintain their interest in your channel. Grow your email database You can use Instagram stories as a promotional channel to offer discounts and collect emails of followers wanting to opt in. Grow your email database and hopefully generate some sales through the promotional activity. Get interactive with competitions Instagram is a key channel for competitions – so why not incentivise your audience to participate in your polls, and select a winner at random. For example, if you’re a doughnut store, find out whether your audience prefer your chocolate swirl or strawberry cream doughnut, and select a winner at random to win an exclusive prize. Everyone’s a winner! Let us know in the comment box below if we’ve missed any other ways your business has tried, tested and made the most of Instagram polls!